Spring bird song walk review – May 7th 2022
There wasn’t time to introduce ourselves before a great spotted woodpecker announced itself with its ‘klip’ call in the trees above the houses on Southstoke Green. Seven of us met at 9 am, so it was too late for a dawn chorus, but our purpose was to listen out for birdsong, especially the birds that have arrived back from migration. Mostly we heard a maximum of two or three birds at a time, so it was easier to separate out their songs and calls. ‘Teacher, teacher, teacher’ with emphasis on the first syllable for the great tit, and ‘chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff,’ on a more even setting for the chiff chaff. So often we just filter the bird song as background noise, so it was peaceful and rewarding to really listen in with our leader, Simon Stuart, who has been listening in since his childhood and was able to give us some hints.
We wandered slowly up to the Millennium view point in gorgeous sunny weather and the birds were very obliging. We saw or heard great spotted woodpecker, blue tits, great tits, chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, wren, woodpigeon, collared dove, blackbird, robin, black cap whitethroat and buzzard.
There was a diversion alongside the fields of the plateau to enjoy the excitement of the skylarks singing their hearts out before returning back to the Green and wondering whether we would still be able to distinguish between a black cap and a whitethroat the next day. We had had a restful morning in the company of the birds and made some new human friends too. Alas, the skylarks will no longer be there in the future if planning permission is granted for a large number of new houses on the plateau.
By Ann Stuart